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Slow Food Festival – Exclusive Fine Food & Wine Tour


September 2018 ….final dates to be advised

The rolling Langhe hills were the birthplace of the Slow Food organisation whose central goal is to both reconnect consumers with producers as well as promote and protect quality food production the world over. Every 2 years, in the third week of September, Slow Food holds the Salone del Gusto event in the stunningly beautiful city of Turin, where producers from all regions of Italy, as well as many others from around Europe and the world, come to show their amazing produce.

Taste of Life Tours has put together an exclusive tour featuring a two day visit to the Salone del Gusto event as well as several more days featuring the incredible food, wine, culture and scenery of this northwestern corner of Italy. With numbers strictly limited to a maximum of 7 people, participants on this boutique tour are ensured an unparalleled fine food and wine experience.


Day 1:

Rendevous with me and the rest of the group in the amazing city of Turin at our stunning accommodation in the heart of the old centre – centro storico of town. We will head out on foot into town for apperitivo drinks and dinner.

Day 2:

Salone-del-Gusto-20141Today is the first of our two days checking out Salone del Gusto, which this year moves away from the
massive convention centre of Lingotto and into the streets and historic sites of the centro storico of Turin. We will spend the morning walking around the different event sites in the city, looking, smelling, talking and most importantly tasting the amazing array of Slow Food certified products from producers all over Italy and the world. We will take things at a relaxed pace, this is a Slow Food event after all, and we have two days to see and taste as much as possible.

Lunch is not included today, but I expect you will be quite full from the constant tasting throughout the morning. In the afternoon you have the option of breaking off from the group to do your own Salone del Gusto exploring, or you can stick with me doing more of the same.

Once your legs (and stomach) tire from the walking and tasting, feel at leisure to head back to our hotel for a break from all of the gourmet mayhem. We will meet up together in the early evening and once again head into the city on foot for apperitivo drinks and dinner at one of our favourite Turinese restaurants and one of the oldest and most historic in the city.

Day 3:

Today we head back for a second day experiencing the Salone del Gusto event. Being a Monday, I expect that the crowds will be greatly reduced from the Sunday, which should make the tasting experiences on offer even more enjoyable.

As with the first day, lunch is not included, and in the afternoon you will be free to do more of your own reconnaissance of the event or come along with me. Yet again, when you feel weary, feel free to head back to the hotel or find a post in one of the many local bars or cafès to rest up for a bit.

For our last evening in Turin we will make our way to one of the city’s highest rated restaurants for what promises to be a dinner to remember.

Day 4:

For our last morning in the city of Turin we will start the day with a tasting at what is, in my opinion, the BEST artisan chocolatier in Turin. A fact not many people are aware of is that this corner of Italy was the birthplace of sweetened chocolate and a tradition of fine chocolate making stretches back centuries.

a-presidi-logo-altfffaFollowing this incredible tasting we will bid ‘arrivederci’ to Turin and make our way south and west into the Italian/ French Alps to the Castelmagno region. We will take our lunch at a fantastic local restaurant in the town of Caraglio before heading up, up and up some more into this incredible area. We will be staying in newly constructed apartments at an Alpine Refuge at around 1800 feet ASL, right on the mountainside. Here we will witness the milking of the rare alpine cows, directly on the mountainside, during the late afternoon followed by a hearty meal prepared fresh that day in the refuge kitchen. The wines for dinner will be top notch, as the group behind this project to save the abandoned village and almost extinct Castelmagno d’Alpeggio cheese are made up of several of the Barolo zone’s best and most famous producers, and all of their wines are socked in the refuge.

Day 5:

Optional alpine hike to start the day. Depending on the group, we IMG_5340can make this hike as long, short,easy or difficult as you like. Suffice to say that any time spent wandering the alpine meadows up here is both relaxing and inspirational. Be sure to bring your camera along on any of the excursions we do!

Later in the morning we will view and have the possibility of participating in the making of the incredible Castelmagno d’Alpeggio cheese, followed by a tasting of both this and the other cheeses made on the mountain. We will take a long yet thankfully lighter lunch on the mountain before making our way across to the Barolo zone and the stunning hilltop town of Monforte D’Alba for the remainder of the tour.

Our accommodation is set outside of the town itself, on a stunning property which is both a working winery and a luxurious place to stay.

Dinner tonight is slated for another of our absolute favourite restaurants situated in the Barolo zone town of La Morra.

Day 6:

Our first full day in the Barolo zone will be spent with a focus on wine tasting. We will have an appointment wine tasting some of the the area’s best producers during both the morning and afternoon. Being late September, the wine area will be abuzz with the 2016 harvest, so you are sure to be able to see the grape picking in action and perhaps sample some fresh grape berries about to be transformed into some of the most sought after bottles of wine on the planet.

Lunch will be at one of the most scenically located restaurants in the area, located in the UNESCO listed town of Neive, in the Barbaresco wine zone.

For something a bit simpler, this evening we will dine at a local pizzeria and experience some true Italian pizza.

Day 7:

Today we will start the day with a cooking class at one of our favourite local agriturismos. An agriturismo is a working farm which also offers accommodation. The one we plan to visit is home to perhaps our favourite country restaurant, where the young chef and his mother prepare some incredible cuisine with both modern inspiration as well as significant respect for the traditional dishes of the area. Much of the fresh produce is grown right on the farm itself.

After a few hours of preparing several dishes, you will have a short break before a long lunch from what we all prepare in the morning.

For the later afternoon we hope to be able to take you on truffle in grounda real life truffle hunt. The hills of the Barol zone produce both black truffles and the most famous (and expensive) truffle in the world – the Alba White Truffle. Depending on the season and the weather conditions will determine which of the truffles we hunt for. If we are unable to conduct the truffle hunt, we will organise another afternoon activity such as another appointment wine tasting, a visit to the famous town of Barolo itself, perhaps the wine museum of Barolo, with many other great options also existing.

If we chance upon some truffle, then I will be sure to purchase some to eat with our final dinner this evening which will be held at the most uniquely constructed restaurant I have ever had the fortune of dining at. The owner, Giulio, has an incredible cellar featuring many ancient vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco wines. So be prepared for an amazing final dinner.

Day 8:

Check-out and carry on with your travels. Included in the tour cost are transfers back to Turin city, Turin Aiport, or any other town or train station in the area. Please consult with us regarding your onwards travel plans so we can best customise your departure travel.

What the package includes:

  • Small group size (maximum 7 people)
  • All transfers and travel within Italy
  • All accommodation (twin share/double) in boutique hotels and villas
  • All meals  including top wines and all drinks with meals except the 2 lunches at the Salone del Gusto event
  • All activities, tastings, visits and entrance fees
  • Personal tour guide for your group

This tour is priced from €2,850 pp twin share/double